The boredom was tangible. All my dreams of having nothing to do and no pressing deadlines came crashing to reality when I realized that I actually had nothing to do. There's only so much packing you can do two weeks before you move.
So I went on the thrift store circuit just to break the monotony of sitting around and watching TV. I headed down 105 to Foscoe to hit the two stores there, with no real aim other than to kill as much time as possible.
I passed by the Christian Church of Foscoe, where the sign read "Blood Drive Thurs May 13". And sure enough, there was a big bus in the parking lot that said "BLOODHOUND" in block red letters, solidifying my suspicion that today was the 13th. I filed the thought away as a possible way to kill a couple hours between 3 and 7 pm.
I got home and messaged Amy, because I knew she was bored and could be easily persuaded to do unpleasant but rewarding activities. And I was right.
So at 3:30, I pulled into the parking lot of the Christian Church of Foscoe with Amy sitting next to me. The church doors were right open, and the bloodmobile sitting by, running. We walked into the empty church.
Yeah, that's right. The empty one.
There was no one in sight. The doors were open, the lights were out, and not a soul or sign of the Red Cross was around. We walked back outside, looking confused.
It was then we realized the blood drive was actually on the bus. The BLOODHOUND. A blood bus. A driving food stand for vampires. Yeah, it was a weird idea.
Inside was an entire blood drive, down to the tiny canteen in the back. We started at the front of the bus on a tiny seat where we sat and read the book about mad cow disease and tattoos and living in Equatorial Guinea.
We were led into little booths where we sat down and had our blood pressure and pulse taken. Then we answered questions about mad cow disease and tattoos and living in Equatorial Guinea. Satisfied that our answers and therefore our bodily fluids, were acceptable, we were led to the main part of the bus, where the little beds were.
The little beds were orange, three on the right for left arms bleeders, two on the left for right arm bleeders. I thought this poor planning, as most people are right arm bleeders.
I'm a right arm bleeder. The lady, Nancy it was, asked to see my arms and I told her that. She wanted to look anyway, even though I told her that I wasn't even sure my left arm got any blood. After a little poking at my elbows, she seemed satisfied that I was a right arm bleeder.
I laid down on one of the orange beds on the left side and patiently sat and squeezed the little plastic thing they gave me while they coated the inside of my right elbow with iodine and some other brown cold fluid. And then it was time.
I hate this part.
I think Nancy could sense that I hated this part, because she told me to turn my head before the needle was even out. But I was afraid that I might be able to see the reflection of the needle going into my arm in the window of the BLOODHOUND, so I just shut my eyes tight.
I'm twenty-one years old, have had all my shots, have given blood half a dozen times, and I cannot watch a needle go into my body.
But then it was in and covered up and I could face the direction of my right arm again. Amy was a right arm bleeder, too, so she had to wait for the lady in front of me to finish before she could go. It was sitting there with a needle in my arm and a right arm bleeder waiting that I made my theories about the beds on the bus.
In theory, giving blood is easy. You sit there, you bleed. If they could just cut me a little and put a bucket under my arm, that would be different.
Actually, I was fine. I usually get faint or dizzy and have to call someone to point a fan towards me while I continue to allow my life fluids to drip out of me. But I drank a lot of water before I came, and the only discomfort I felt was the pressing need to urinate.
And then it was all over, and I sat in the canteen, or rather a seat in the back next to a counter with crackers on it, and waited while Amy went through it. And then I waited some more while she sat in the canteen. Finally, I waited one last time while Amy went back to the orange beds to lay down so she didn't pass out. I sat next to her and told her jokes.
While I waited, I read a chart or two about blood and blood donation. One of the charts stressed how important it was for people with type O blood to donate. I didn't mind the blood discrimination so much, as I am type O, but it did sound like they didn't want everyone else's blood. They don't even give anything besides O blood to newborns. I was feeling pretty proud of my blood and its life-saving possibilities then, as if I actually had anything to do with my blood type.
Nancy the efficient nurse lectured Amy about weighing herself with her clothes off. Apparently Nancy thought Amy was having problems with the blood donation process because Amy did not actually weigh the required 110 pounds. Whenever I almost pass out, they lecture me about drinking fluids. Those Red Cross people are jerks.
But anyway, we left the BLOODHOUND once Amy got to feeling like she could stand up without falling over, a pint of blood lighter. I took the bandaid off my finger (where they poke you to test your iron) just so I could type this out. I took my bright red bandage off my arm an hour before I was supposed to. But I do not intend to do any heavy lifting or work. I don't have to.
I have a doctor's note.